Cancer as a dynamical phase transition

  • Davies P
  • Demetrius L
  • Tuszynski J
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Abstract

This paper discusses the properties of cancer cells from a new perspective based on an analogy with phase transitions in physical systems. Similarities in terms of instabilities and attractor states are outlined and differences discussed. While physical phase transitions typically occur at or near thermodynamic equilibrium, a normal-to-cancer (NTC) transition is a dynamical non-equilibrium phenomenon, which depends on both metabolic energy supply and local physiological conditions. A number of implications for preventative and therapeutic strategies are outlined. © 2011 Davies et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Authors

  • P.C.W. Davies

  • L. Demetrius

  • J.A. Tuszynski

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